At a Glance
- Top-rated antivirus engine
- Reasonably priced
- Host of effective tools under one roof
- No dedicated Mac version
- Awkward installation process for the Mac
- Certain tools require separate apps to manage them
Kaspersky Total Security has a good collection of useful features, but Mac users will find the installation process confusing and frustrating.
Protecting yourself online used to be as simple as running a good anti-virus program. But with so many threats around these days, you need more tools in your arsenal to be fully safe and secure. That’s where a program like Kaspersky Total Security aims to fill the need. See our
complete test of the best antivirus software for Macs.
The 2022 version of Kaspersky Total Security offers a host of features, including antivirus and anti-phishing protection, ad blocking and private browsing, webcam spying protection, a VPN, a child locator with parental controls, screen time management, and a password manager.
Kaspersky sells two similar products: Internet Security (£44.99/$59.99 per year for three macOS systems – currently on offer in the US at $35.99) and Total Security (£59.99/$99.99 per year for five devices – currently on offer at £29.99/$49.99). Both products come with the same core features, but Total Security for Mac kicks in premium versions of the child locator with parental controls and the password manager. You can check out either product through a free 21-day trial, though the trial edition has limited functionality.
Trying to install Kaspersky Total Security for the Mac is an exercise in frustration. Installing the Windows version is quick and easy. Not so on the Mac. Mac users have to download and install the Internet Security product and then download and install the password manager and Safe Kids tools as separate apps. The process itself is unclear, and I had to call Kaspersky tech support three times before someone correctly explained what to do.
Once you get past the installation woes, the product itself is robust and effective. Based on 2021 testing for anti-virus products, Kaspersky received top marks for protection, performance, and usability from
AV-Test and solid grades from
AV Comparatives. The product also was rated the best antivirus software for 2022 from
The main screen provides easy access to many of the core tools.
Total Security’s main screen offers access to four key areas: scanning, updating, privacy, and Safe Kids. To hunt down malware, you can run a full scan, a quick scan, or a scheduled scan. You’re also able to scan just specific files or folders. A recorded history of each scan lets you easily check the results.
The software keeps a history of all scans for you to review.
The software provides real-time scanning and protection for malware, network attacks, phishing attacks, and attempts to obtain financial data. A Safe Money feature protects your credentials when you shop or bank online. Any malicious items are automatically quarantined for your review.
Website tracking prevents advertisers and social networks from monitoring your online activities. The program can even block your computer’s webcam to stop malicious apps and hackers from snooping on you.
The Kaspersky password manager sets up strong passwords for your online accounts via extensions for Safari, Firefox, or Chrome. You’ll need a strong master password to protect and unlock your passwords, though you can use Touch ID to access them. The tool accepts passwords imported from browsers and other password managers though you first have to save them into a CSV file. The password manager included with Total Security is the premium version that will store an unlimited number of logins.
The password manager will store credentials and other data for websites, applications, bank cards, and addresses.
Offering a secure tunnel to browse the web more privately, the included VPN is easy to configure and runs in the background. The VPN will analyze each Wi-Fi network you try to access. Upon detecting an unsecured connection, it can turn on automatically or prompt you to enable it manually.
The Safe Kids app is a separate program with parental controls to prevent your children from viewing inappropriate content, give them screen time limits, and track their location via a smartphone app. After setting up dedicated accounts on your Mac for your children, you control the app from your own account or from a smartphone.
The Safe Kids tool can locate your child through a smartphone app.
Based in Russia, Kaspersky has gotten a black eye in the past over allegations from the US government that it may have shared data with the Kremlin. The company has denied those allegations and explained the specific incident that triggered them. Though US government agencies are still prohibited from using Kaspersky products, consumers are naturally free to use the product. Anyone concerned about using Kaspersky security software may want to read a 2017 article by our colleagues at PC World that covers the topic in depth:
What the Kaspersky antivirus hack really means.
Kaspersky Total Security is certainly a hearty security tool with a healthy array of features. The major drawback for Mac users is the cumbersome and confusing installation. If the Mac setup were smoother, the product would rate higher. If you don’t need the password manager or Safe Kids tool or just want a license for one Mac, go with Kaspersky Internet Security as it costs less and is easier to install.